Writer: Jim Zub / Artist: Thony Silas / Marvel Comics:
IT AIN’T SAFE
Madripoor remains infamous amongst the fictional countries of the Marvel Universe as a haven for the rich and a hell for the poor. The island nation lying just southwest of Singapore has a history of attractive tax incentives and lenient law enforcement that has made it a constant draw for the world’s crime syndicates, assassins, arms dealers, and at one point, even those time criminals, the displaced “Original Five” X-Men. During a storyline in the late 80’s, Wolverine himself owned part of a bar while his team of X-Men was presumed dead.
As the Hunt for Wolverine event continues, an excellent ensemble of X-Women search from Lowtown to Hightown to find Logan’s missing body. Before they can save him, however, they have to save themselves.
Mystery Mardripoor #2 finds Kitty Pryde’s auxiliary X-Unit already on the ropes. Previously, when a meeting with a Magneto imposter turned into an ambush by Viper’s mercenaries, Psylocke, Rogue, and Storm were captured. Kitty phases herself, Jubilee, and Domino into the city’s sewers, allowing them to escape to Logan’s secret vault in the Princess Bar. In the last issue, the team was outgunned and overpowered quickly, leaving only the least offensively powerful mutants. Instead of calling in reinforcements or retreating, Kitty takes a play from Logan’s “Patch” playbook. The remaining X-Women stalk the night, shaking down everything from noodle stands to strip clubs, dive bars to casinos in plain sight.
Their team members, on the other hand, have no time for games. Storm teeters on bringing some raging currents as her sanity slips from the confined spaces of her imprisonment Psylocke lies helpless as the private plaything of soul and power draining mutant Sapphire Styx. Even Rogue can do nothing as she is shackled by restraints too strong for her to overcome. Mindwipe, Viper’s hired, psychic and illusionist holds grows bolder and more powerful, keeping Magneto comatose.
The spirit of Wolverine looms in the air of Madripoor, rallying foe and friend alike in a race for the many uses for the uses of the living Weapon X. Kitty Pryde, more acutely than the others, holds herself to the highest standard of honoring his life and teachings.
Women in the Fore
Fans of the critically acclaimed 2013 relaunch of X-Men (Vol.4) by Brian Wood should rejoice as this series basically features the exact lineup. Substitute Domino for Rachel Grey, and you have a nice throwback to a long-awaited lineup. Domino earns her place as a violent wildcard in the team’s mix, adding both femininity and luck with a bit of violent humor. When all the elements line up just right, you get to see some Jubilee in all her original charm, spouting off fireworks and sass, erasing memories of that awkward period where Jubilee was “depowered,” and then became a vampire. Yeah, that time we choose to forget.
With all of those elements in place, the issue feels like “Patch’s Angel’s” would be an even more fitting title that “Mystery in Madriopoor.” The team of Kitty Pryde, Domino, and Jubilee are a fun unit to read together.
The second installment of the series is a stronger follow-up to the initial issue. The strong cast showcases the depth of the X-mythologies well-rounded, multi-dimensional female characters. The artwork fares much better as the issue develops, showing a vibrant and playful ease with depictions of the Madripoor streetlife and the casino fight scene. Raising the stakes even more, the final splash page reveal sets us up for a curveball as a potential Wolverine imposter reveals himself, but this time as Patch.